THE SOCIAL NETWORK Are You Making Friends Or Enemies?

By Jessica Sitomer


In the movie The Social Network, Mark Zuckerberg got the tagline, “You don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies.” The movie depicted him in a light that may or may not be factual. The number of people using Facebook is. Your Friends should be growing, and making enemies can easily be avoided.


Recently, I was speaking for a group of actors and when I asked how many people were on Facebook, only three raised their hands. Three! And one of them had coached with me. I’ve had similar results when speaking to Editors and Camera Crew. At first I thought it was an age thing, then I thought it was a technology thing, then I thought it was a privacy thing, then I thought it was a ‘statement’ thing. Well here’s the ‘thing’- over the past decade we have seen technology change at an incredible speed. We’ve gone from film and pedestal cameras to making movies on a cell phone. We’ve gone from giant edit suites, to editing on a Mac laptop. We’ve gone from racing around town for auditions to recording the audition at home and emailing it to the casting director. Technology is not slowing down, and if you don’t stay up and even ahead of the trend you can fall behind and be yesterday’s news very quickly. I’ve coached Oscar winners who couldn’t get jobs, because of stubbornness to acclimate to the industry changes. If that gold statue can’t get them a job, what’s a person to do with little or no industry credibility?


I’ll tell you what to do- get with the program. Like the quickly changing media technology, so is the lightning speed changes of information technology. It is imperative that today, YOU have a profile on Facebook and a following on Twitter. If you want to go the extra mile, get on LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, Google+, Instagram, and create a blog. If any of the “things” above applied to you, here’s the bottom line: social media is ageless, so that ‘thing’ is no longer an excuse. Social media is easy to use and you can google tutorials if you are really struggling, or you can ask someone for help. Therefore struggling with technology, is no longer allowed to be a ‘thing.’ I know privacy is an issue. So does Facebook. That’s why they have so many privacy settings. If you’re so concerned about your privacy, you’re going to let the other thousands who aren’t get the jobs you want. If it’s a ‘statement’ thing, it’s one of those statements that’s going to come back to haunt you. It is not cool to not be on social media, it’s actually detrimental.


Did you know that job postings and auditions are now asking how many friends/followers you have? It’s because they want to know, if they offer you the job, will you have a big community to market to? Gone are the days of using Facebook to find your high school prom date or your camp friends. The days of being an online commodity are here! And it’s only going to get more competitive. You need to grow your presence NOW.    


Want to know how to properly market yourself on social media and become a ‘hot property’? Follow these suggestions:



1.   Aim for 1000 friends on Facebook. The max you can have is 5000. Eventually, you can get there, for now focus on 1000.

2.   How to get 1000 friends? NOT by hitting the friend request button, unless it’s someone you know well. Send a personal note letting the person know why you’re requesting their friendship. It can be 1 line, like: we have 10 mutual friends in the camera department, I’d like to follow what you’re up to and support your success.

3.   If time is an issue, spend 15 minutes sending those request out each day. You’ll be amazed how quickly your friend numbers grow.

4.   Maintain friends and attract new friends by leaving positive comments on your friends’ statuses.

5.   NEVER write a negative comment about a person in the industry even if they’re not your Friend. For example: You are an actor who sat in a casting session waiting for two hours to be called in. DO NOT COMMENT on that. No one in the casting office may be your Friend on Facebook, but if someone in another casting office is, they won’t call you in for fear you’ll bad mouth their office.

6.   Brand yourself strategically with every social networking move you make. The pictures you post, the quotes you post, the movies and tv shows you comment on, the YouTube videos you share. Everything should point to the specific jobs you want. If you want to share your party pictures with your college friends, use the privacy settings to do so.

7.   Give value to your Friends. “Sleeping” is not a strategic social media status update. Your branded personality should be in every status update. I’m not asking you to take time to get creative, just take the extra 20 seconds to write, “sleeping after a blissful two days of being on set. I love my job.” Or if you want to be cast in a romantic comedy, “Going to sleep, hope to be awoken by the kiss of a prince. Or does that only happen in movies? Note to self, get cast in a movie where I can be kissed.”


These suggestions should be applied to all social media sites you’re on. If you’re not on social media, I hope this is the motivational kick-in-the-pants you needed. If you are, I hope this gave you some new ideas to be even more effective in your online business strategy. If it prompted more questions-    

And Action!
1. Ask me your questions on my FB page: and I’ll answer them on my blog; which I distribute in HootSuite to Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.


2. Grow your Friends by 20 this week.

The Social Network, revealed a young man who was completely focused on having his vision succeed. You have a dream, to make it a reality, you must stay current, and social media is currently the way to go.